Pike fish (Exus) generally live in the freshwaters of the northern hemisphere.
Pike are carnivorous fish: they usually eat small fish and animals (frogs, mice, ducklings), but are also cannibalistic, sometimes feeding on smaller members of their own species.
References to these fish have been made from very old times: they are usually mentioned in mythology and literature as symbols of evil water spirits, probably because of their ”special” diet.
Pike are large fish, reaching a maximum length of about six feet and a maximum weight of more than seventy pounds. They may live many years, as humans are the only threat to their life.
Pike fish species:
- Esox Americanus (Redfin Pickerel or Grass Pickerel);
- Esox Lucius, also known as Northern Pike;
- Esox Masquinogy, commonly known as Muskellunge or Muskie;
- Esox Niger, or Chain Pickerel;
- Esox Reichertii, commonly known as Amur Pike.
Fishing for predators is not easy and anglers are extremely interested in pike fish. Why so? Because trying to catch such a fish is rather difficult and it is widely accepted: the more difficult it is, the more interesting it becomes for sport fishing amateurs!
Live and dead fish are the most popular baits for pike.
If ”catch and release” angling is practiced, fisherman should be very careful about the way they handle the fish. Pike are not as strong as people may think. Even if they are widely known as merciless predators, inappropriate handling of a pike may lead to permanent injuries on its body, or even death!
Nevertheless, pike has very sharp teeth and you may be slightly injured if you do not know how to release it back into the water.
However, pike fish are very popular all over the world and thousands of people choose fishing trips in various countries (especially Canada), in order to experience this different way of fishing.
If you want to handle your fish properly, you ought to take into consideration some tips:
- Before fishing, make sure you have everything you need for the proper handling of pike: a micromesh landing net, forceps, wire cutters, unhooking mat, scales, wire tracers, and bolt croppers;
- Wire traces are very important when it comes to pike fishing. Even small fish may be relatively dangerous. The wire trace should be about 15 inches long;
- You should use semi-barbless hooks: this way, it will be easier to unhook the fish and it will also be safer for it;
- You will need one pair of strong forceps for unhooking the pike: Be careful and try not to touch the fish with dry hands.
Pike are very popular fish, and many conservation programs have been initiated for them. It is very important to prevent such an interesting fish from becoming extinct.
If you angle for pike fish once, you will certainly do it again. It is a real pleasure to analyze the behavior of such a great fish!